Gunshot trackers link to $200M security contract
Thursday, July 19 2012
NATIONAL Security Minister Jack Warner’s announcement on Tuesday that the State is moving to introduce technology which could help pinpoint the location of gunshots comes four months after the State announced it was signing a nearly $200 million contract with a US firm to provide high-tech equipment meant to ensure optimal results from “first responders.”
While Warner has declined to name the firm involved in the provision of new technology which he announced on Tuesday, some pointed yesterday to a contract signed by the State in March with Harris Corporation RF Communications Division — a United States based firm known for its “beyond-line-of-sight voice and data communications.”
The contract, reportedly financed by a US$26.333 million Exim Bank direct loan and a US$4.647 million Republic Bank Limited (RBL) commercial facility, was signed on March 16 by the then Acting Finance Minister Vasant Bharath. HSBC Bank PLC was identified as an arranger of the financing for the project which had been scheduled to come on-stream in 2013. At the time, the State issued a press release announcing the signing of the contract saying the scope of the contract included the provision of a “Digital Public Safety Communication System”.
A press release from the Ministry of Finance said, “The digital communications system would comprise a number of sub-systems including an interface with the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service records management system and a computer-aided dispatch system.”
The release continued, “This would allow for the monitoring, tracking and logging of selected vehicles, the provision of nearest vehicle to incident information allowing for more effective dispatching. Significant upgrades will improve substantially radio communications in Tobago.”
“In summary, the technology would permit greater flexibility for the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service as it seeks to interface and interconnect with other protective services systems in place thereby ensuring an optimal response from all first responders to public safety issues.” The “system would apparently link-up with infrastructure from many different law enforcement agencies.
“The technology-driven modernisation programme would allow the communication system to migrate from an analog-based to a digital-based system, to become fully compatible and interoperable with the communications and IT configurations adopted for use by the Government in all protective services and to allow for the existing equipment, components and infrastructure to be used to the maximum extent possible.
Most importantly, the system would only require incremental increases in maintenance costs over time.” The contract was signed by Bharath and Cynthia Bucci, identified as the international contracts manager of Harris Corporation RF Communications Division.
On Tuesday, Warner said the State was in talks with an unnamed contractor to “see how fast we could expedite” their contract. He implied the system would improve the efficiency of first responders.
“It is coming,” he said. “When a shot is fired from a gun you would know where it came from. You will know the area, you can pinpoint the house and if they have squad cars in the area, as there will be, it will be a matter of seconds.”